|CR||By class level|
Source: Alien Archive, pg(s). 96-97
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Ryphorians are the most populous species on the planet Triaxus, the seventh planet in the Pact Worlds system. Triaxus' orbit causes centuries-long winters and summers; as their average lifespan is about 80 years, most ryphorians experience nothing but one long winter or summer. Ryphorians have adapted to their unusual environment with a peculiar trimorphism.
Ryphorians are tall and lean and have long and pointed ears, with feather-like notching along the back edge that automatically adjusts their shape to help the ryphorian focus on specific sounds.
Like the many creatures that make up their world, ryphorians have evolved to shift with their environment. This adaptation creates many differences in generations within the same family line that would be seen as strange to other races.
Ryphorians differ significantly depending on the season in which they are born, owing to the length of Triaxus' seasons. The dark-skinned, wide-eyed, hairless ryphorians born in the summer phase are called summerborn, while those born in the winter have white fur and light-shielding narrow eyes and are called winterborn. Those born in the brief spring or autumn are known as transitional and have a blend of such traits. Even those born away from Triaxus take on the adaptations of their ancestral world's current season.
However, with gene therapy and hormonal treatments available, an individual ryphorian's appearance is no longer an indicator of Triaxus's current season, and taking steps to change one's seasonal form is a mark of wealth and status in some ryphorian cultures.
Long before the Gap, the ryphorians of the Allied Territories and their metallic dragon allies battled against the chromatic dragon nations of the Drakelands, with dragonkin fighting on both sides. The tactically crucial isthmus between the two warring continents was the Skyfire Mandate, defended by a legion of ryphorians bonded with intelligent dragonkin mounts. As spaceflight was developed and the territorial wars became moot, particularly after the Gap and upon the signing of the Absalom Pact, active ryphorian-dragon hostilities ceased. The Allied Territories largely lost their reason for cohesion and are now united only by the loosest official body. Technological advancements have enabled modern ryphorians to live in ease no matter the current season of Triaxus. While most ryphorian nations have prospered under the new interplanetary arrangement, a few have refused to modernise fully and still cling to the old ways.
Since Triaxus is currently in the middle of a winter, most of its resident ryphorians are winterborn.
Triaxian society was historically defined by seasonal changes. Winterborn ryphorians were loyal but gruff and slow to make friends, and took promises to a legendarily serious degree. Summerborn ryphorians, on the other hand, have a reputation for being flighty, artistic and progressive. Transitional ryphorians, as representatives of the changing of seasons, were viewed with awe and fear.
Although seasonal changes no longer play as much of a role in Triaxian society as before, these stereotypes remain and have been strengthened by the addition of personal choice into the matter. Winterborn ryphorians are still seen as conservative and pragmatic, not least because they represent the unmodified state during Triaxus' current wintry season. Conversion to summerborn is now generally accepted, but such an act immediately brands an individual as a member of the counterculture. Transitional ryphorians remain relatively rare and thus still maintain some of their mystery.
Ryphorian culture vary according to the region in which they live, but all major settlements include individuals who have deep, established bonds with the dragonkin.
Many ryphorians retain a deep-seated racism against chromatic dragons, and it's not uncommon for ryphorian nationalists to conduct illegal attacks on draconic holdings in hopes of driving the evil dragons from Triaxus.